GCVS Newsletter, Issue 3
A message from the Executive Director
Dear GCVS family, I hope you all had a great weekend and, if you enjoy football, got to celebrate the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory! It’s hard to believe it is already February. It’s always important for students to be consistently attending school, and that’s especially true this time of year when we’re faced with more weather emergencies and illnesses. Poor attendence can hurt a student’s progress in school, and also reflect negatively on the school. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the opportunities a virtual school has to make it easier for students to have consistent attendence and better ways to make up for any time that is missed. If you have any questions or concerns about attendance or other issues, it’s important to stay ahead of them. GCVS’s teachers, counselors, and Family Engagement Coordinators can all help. Issues at school – academic or otherwise – can become bigger and more difficult to tackle if too much time goes by. The sooner you let any of us know, the sooner we can help. In other news, we are launching a new PTO. This is an important opportunity for you to participate in the management of and communication in our school district. The PTO will play a big part in continuing to grow GCVS, and I hope all of you consider being part of the organization. There are more details in this newsletter, and you can reach out to Family Engagement Coordinator Nancy Oliviera if you have any questions. Coming up in the next few months are several meet-ups, including Storytelling with John Porcino on March 8. We’ve also rescheduled the Sturbridge Village meet-up for April 26. We’ll share more details in the next few weeks. In the meantime, stay warm and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us or email! All the best, Salah Khelfaoui
Calling All Families and Learning Coaches
You’ve been asking for a parent-teacher organization, so we’re starting our own PTO! Now is your chance to have a voice in the decision making process here at GCVS. As a member of the PTO, you will help promote and encourage communication between parents, teachers, administration, and the entire GCVS community. You’ll also be able to help sponsor and organize fundraising events, participate in the community, and get to know the fantastic families that make up our school. This is a great opportunity to enrich the GCVS community spirit and all of our children’s educational, social, and developmental experiences, and there is a role for everyone to play as we get this going. We are looking forward to working with you to get this started, and if you’d like to help, email Nancy Oliviera at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
We’re finalizing the locations for MCAS this year and will them with you soon. The dates of the tests are below, and we wanted you to be able to start planing for them:
- March 26 and 27: Grade 10 English
- April 1: Grades 3, 4, and 5 English
- April 9: Grades 6, 7, and 8 English
- May 1 and 2: Grades 3, 4, and 5 Math and Grade 5 Science
- May 7 and 8: Grades 6, 7, and 8 Math and Grade 8 Science
- May 21 and 22: Grade 10
- June 4 and 5: Grade 10 Biology
Please mark these dates on your calendars, as it is a very important event and is required by the state. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Family Fun Day in Bristol
Our Family Fun Day on Friday, January 25th at Bristol Community College was exactly as we wanted it to be – full of families and fun! It was a first of what we hope are a lot more community events where students and parents can connect with local businesses and organizations. In addition to lunch provided by Domino’s Pizza and Spindle City Glass, a community raffle, and a Guesstimation station, teachers led group activites for each grade level – everything from creating bookmarks, playing games that reinforced math skills, and creating vision boards. This was a great opportunity for a lot of student, teacher, and family interaction with educational elements, too. We hope to see you at the next one!
GCVS Internet Tips
Today’s technology moves fast, so it’s important to know what apps your children are using.Family Engagement Coordinator Nancy Oliviera shared a few that you should know about:
- Amino – allows users to participate in online communities focused on specific interests, but also allows chatting, messaging, photo sharing, with strangers
- Live.ly – live streaming app, it allows users to create and broadcast content live to others who do not need to register personal information, including age. Anyone who has an account can see any live stream, including your child’s. And, your children have access to all of the live streams on this app.
- Music.ly – the sister app to Live.ly, it promtoes itself as a fun app for “kids” to lip synch and create their own music videos to share. Like the other apps, there is no verification and content is available to everyone, regardless of age or appropriateness.
- Ask.fm – his site has been linked to some of the worst cases of cyberbullying. It allows users to ask anonymous questions and there is no way to know who is following you or who posted the question.
Most importantly, make sure your children know they can talk and should talk to you about what they hear, see, and encounter online.